The meteoric rise of mobile devices is proving to be a win-win-win for all parties involved. Consumers obviously have a lot to gain as end-users, but so does the mobile enterprise and the IT service provider that manages their devices. Mobile device management (MDM) is an exciting trend that next to their existing service offerings, has provided a way for MSPs to increase the recurring income they make every month. But while smartphones and tablets have become the norm, there’s an emerging fleet of smart devices that will soon need to be accounted for.
A Smarter View
Are smart glasses the wave of the future? As far as mobile goes, they very well could be. A new report by IHS iSuppli projects that more than nine million units will be shipped by 2016. This projection is largely based on the hype Google alone has been able to generate for its Google Glass device, which by the way, hasn’t even shipped yet.
Google Glass is a very interesting concept that delivers the mobile computing experience in the form of eyewear. This particular device bundles technology that lets users perform various actions by way of voice command, but also offers many of the features mobile device owners are familiar with, including a built-in camera, web browser and apps galore. But while Google’s gadget is currently the face of the market, it isn’t the only game in town. Vuzix is just one of the brands aiming to give the search giant a run for its money in the smart specs space.
Innovations in eyewear such as Google Glass are promising, but technically, they’re way late to the smart device party, especially when considering that smart watches are already making noise. Although the history of smart watches is marred by failures from Microsoft to LG, the early success of one company has rekindled hope for an entire industry. Startup Pebble Technology is the manufacturer of a watch that acts as a companion for Android and iOS devices. The gadget only has basic features such as the ability to deliver text messages and notifications, but supports apps that enhance its functionality.
Pebble’s story is intriguing to say the least. In 2012, the company rallied up the money to fund the product’s development from nearly 70,000 people on crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, who contributed a total of more than $10 million to the project. Its concept attracted legions of people who were compelled enough to pitch in for the cause. You could say the buzz behind its device has forced some of the bigger tech names into a game of monkey see monkey do because Apple, Google and Samsung are all reportedly working on their own versions of the smart watch.
The vast array of phones, tablets and soon to be glasses and watches are no doubt impressive, but something tells me we haven’t seen anything yet. IBM’s team of global scientists are reportedly developing innovation in the form of “smarter” devices that extend all five of the human senses. I am so not kidding. The veteran computing giant discusses this cognitive computing concept in depth in its annual Five in Five list published last December. As IBM explained, this technology can be useful across multiple fields, meaning MSPs have the potential to profit from the retail industry to the healthcare sector.
While the proliferation of smart devices offers lucrative opportunities for managed service providers, there are sure to be new challenges tagging along. Vendors will need to develop policies that improve accessibility, file sharing, security and other vital aspects for each additional device they want to support. So what do you do if you’re an MSP? Closely monitor the trends on the mobile device front and what they require on the management end, so when your clients go to leap on the bandwagon, you’ll be ready to fully support their needs.